Photos show how wildfires are ravaging parts of California’s wine country

A resident rushes to save his home as an out-of-control wildfire moves through the area on Monday, October 9, 2017, in Glen Ellen, California.

caption
A resident rushes to save his home as an out-of-control wildfire moves through the area on Monday, October 9, 2017, in Glen Ellen, California.
source
Getty Images

California wildfires have created apocalyptic scenes in wine country, where firefighters were still battling blazes on Thursday morning. The largest fires remain almost completely uncontained.

A series of massive wildfires spread through the counties of Napa, Sonoma, and six others early this week, destroying at least 3,500 homes, businesses, and other structures, and sending residents fleeing for their lives in the middle of the night. An estimated 50,000 people have left their homes for shelters and hotels, and new evacuation orders were issued late on Wednesday.

Dry, gusty winds returned overnight, threatening to push flames into unscathed areas.

The situation is considered one of the deadliest fires in state history. At least 31 people are dead, and another 463 people are reported missing in Sonoma County. Hundreds more have been hospitalized. Local officials describe the death toll as a “fluid number,” as the hot zones cool and law enforcement officers begin to uncover human remains in the rubble.

An inferno called the Tubbs Fire (which has accounted for 13 of the deaths) has burned more than 34,000 acres in and around the city of Santa Rosa, according to the Cal Fire website. The Atlas Fire in Napa has charred an additional 43,000 acres. Residents and public officials won’t know the full extent of the damage until evacuation orders have been lifted.

“Make no mistake,” Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott said in a news briefing on Wednesday. “This is a serious, critical, catastrophic event.”

We will continue to update this story throughout the day.


A series of wildfires ravaging pieces of Northern California’s wine country is being called one of the worst firestorms in state history. The largest blazes hit Napa and Sonoma.

caption
Burned out cars sit next to a building on fire in a neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California, on October 9, 2017.
source
Justin Sullivan/Getty

There is the city of Napa and the county of Napa, considered the holy grail of wine country. It’s home to more than 400 wineries, with many packed side by side along State Route 29.

source
Google Maps screenshot

We went to Napa and the trendy destination people are ditching it for – and the winner is clear »


Sonoma County stretches across nine cities and is three times the area of Napa County.

caption
An out of control wildfire approaches Gundlach Bundschu winery on in Sonoma, California, on October 9, 2017.
source
Justin Sullivan/Getty

California’s lesser-known wine destination was named the best small town to visit in America – take a look »


On Monday, videos and photos on social media showed fires burning out of control in Sonoma and Napa, moving through vegetation, buildings, roads, and mobile-home parks.

Fire continues to torch homes,businesses along Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove Pkwy. #TubbsFire pic.twitter.com/nx4wNj5kw2

#TubbsFirepic.twitter.com/nx4wNj5kw2October 9, 2017


An estimated 50,000 people in Northern California have been evacuated.

Tyler Clarke drove throughburning neighborhood in Northern CA. 50,000+ acres & 50structures have burned. Thousands more are threatened. pic.twitter.com/osVyNyEqdw

pic.twitter.com/osVyNyEqdwOctober 9, 2017

Source: Los Angeles Times


Emergency shelters are popping up across Northern California. Jack Tibbetts, vice-mayor of Santa Rosa, told Business Insider that the shelters are reaching capacity quickly.

There are nearly two dozen shelters for fire evacuees in Sonoma County alone. Tibbetts stressed that safety is the number one priority for local officials and public servants.

“I think local officials’ objective is evacuating everybody, more so than it is about protection of property,” Tibbetts, who fled his home in Santa Rosa around 3 a.m. on Monday, said.


As many as seven fires ignited on Sunday night and grew as hot, dry winds — with gusts of up to 70 miles per hour — carried the flames from ridge top to ridge top in Napa.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


“In a two-to-three-hour period, we had seven different counties affected by fire all at once,” Deputy Chief Bret Gouvea of Cal Fire told the San Francisco Chronicle. “And not just ordinary fires. Because of those wind conditions, these fires got out of hand very quickly.”

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


Residents speaking to local media outlets described “fleeing for their lives in the middle of the night from the fire, in cars or on foot.” Many left with only the clothes on their backs.

caption
A resident rushes to save his home as a wildfire moves through Glen Ellen, California, on Monday, October 9, 2017.
source
Justin Sullivan/Getty

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


In Napa, guests of the Silverado Resort and Spa were sleeping when an order to evacuate came on over the loudspeaker. The power went out as the flames crept closer.

“It was surreal,” Chris Thomas, who arrived at the resort on Sunday with his wife for a wine-tasting trip, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “When I started loading stuff into the car it was a hell-storm of smoke and ash. There were 30 to 40 mph winds. I couldn’t even breathe.”

The PGA Tour’s season-opening event ended Sunday at the resort.


“The fire has burned all the way through the Silverado Country Club,” Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said during a press conference on Monday. Here’s the aftermath.

Homes destroyed off SilveradoTrail, Napa. #AtlasFire #NapaFire .@KTVU pic.twitter.com/QgwObZfNPU

#AtlasFire#NapaFire@KTVUpic.twitter.com/QgwObZfNPUOctober 9, 2017

Source: LA Times


Two of the victims who were identified on Tuesday, Charles Rippey, 100, and his wife Sarah, 98, wed 75 years ago. They died trying to escape their home at the Silverado Resort.

Source: Associated Press


Santa Rosa, the largest city in Sonoma County, appears to be hit the hardest.

caption
Smoke continues to rise from the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country in Santa Rosa, California, on October 9, 2017.
source
Justin Sullivan/Getty

A Kmart store on Cleveland Avenue in Santa Rosa was engulfed in flames on Monday.

Santa Rosa Kmart on ClevelandAve fully engulfed. #TubbsFire pic.twitter.com/yWkmdW1No0

#TubbsFirepic.twitter.com/yWkmdW1No0October 9, 2017


The Hilton Sonoma Wine Country hotel was among the scores of buildings destroyed.

Santa Rosa’s Hilton Sonomahotel among dozens of burned businesses. #TubbsFire pic.twitter.com/tp8RZebSBw

#TubbsFirepic.twitter.com/tp8RZebSBwOctober 9, 2017


A cluster of single-family homes in Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park neighborhood has largely turned to ash. About 8,000 people lived in Coffey Park and a neighboring subdivision.

caption
An aerial photo of the devastation left behind from the wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, on Monday, October 9, 2017.
source
California Highway Patrol/Golden Gate Division via Reuters

Before-and-after photo shows the devastation of fires raging through California’s wine country »


A children’s playground nearby was unscathed.


The destruction was widespread. Near the Silverado Trail, a winery in Napa Valley burned.

Fire at a winery off SilveradoTrail. #NapaFire #atlasfire .@KTVU pic.twitter.com/MbBYh3SY53

#NapaFire#atlasfire@KTVUpic.twitter.com/MbBYh3SY53October 9, 2017


Multimillion-dollar homes in and around the Silverado Country Club were destroyed.

Source: Los Angeles Times


Mary Caughey, an office manager at a Santa Rosa middle school, found a glimmer of hope after discovering her wedding ring in the debris that’s left of her home in Sonoma.


Flames climbed the ivy-covered walls of the Signorello Estate winery, located on the Silverado Trail, until it eventually collapsed. It was one of a handful of wineries that burned.

caption
The remains of the Signarello Estate winery are seen in Napa, California, on October 9, 2017.
source
Justin Sullivan/Getty

Before-and-after photos show how California’s wineries have been devastated by fires »


The remains of burned bottles of wine were seen at the Signorello Estate winery.


Entire neighborhoods in Santa Rosa were leveled.

caption
A neighborhood destroyed by fire in the area of Foxtail Court in Santa Rosa, California, is seen on October 10, 2017.
source
David McNew/Getty

The scenes are apocalyptic.

caption
A view of the remains of homes that were destroyed by the Atlas Fire in Napa, California, on October 10, 2017.
source
Ezra Shaw/Getty

Satellite images provide a view of the devastation from above.


The cause of the fires remained under investigation on Wednesday morning.


On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown of California issued a state of emergency for Napa, Sonoma, and Yuba counties — a declaration that called the California National Guard into action.

Source: ABC 7 News and LA Times


Mandatory evacuations remain in place in some areas.

Santa Rosa residents wake towidespread damage. #TubbsFire #JourneysEndPark pic.twitter.com/svnhoySgPn

#TubbsFire#JourneysEndParkpic.twitter.com/svnhoySgPnOctober 9, 2017


People in San Francisco awoke to red, hazy skies and a thick stench of smoke on Monday.



It alarmed some residents, who suspected the flames reached much closer to San Francisco. Many posted on social media, and others called emergency responders.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


The San Francisco Fire Department posted this from its official Twitter account.

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service told The Mercury News that strong winds are responsible for blowing the smell of smoke from the north to the Bay Area.


We will continue to update this post throughout the day.

caption
An aerial photo shows the devastation left behind from the wildfires in Northern California on October 9, 2017.
source
California Highway Patrol/Golden Gate Division via Reuters